Seven Myths About Women Over 50

Posted on March 8, 2014

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Back in 2005, two friends and I wrote a book titled “Invisible No More: The Secret Lives of Women Over 50.” We did it to dispel the myths about women of a certain age and to celebrate the good, the bad, the ugly, the inexplicable and the always-joyful that comes with being who e are at this point in our lives. When I started blogging in 2010, this was one of my first posts. Because life keeps lifing, I now present an updated version of what I wrote way back then:

1. Women over fifty don’t care what they look like

Since two out of the three of us are planning to have our next round of cosmetic surgery, we take an exception to this. We now remember with fondness that construction workers used to give us wolf-whistles. We thought it obnoxious then. We miss it now. Women like us drag ourselves to the gym, where we get to compete with twenty-somethings for parking spaces and treadmills. We take Yoga and Pilates, go on diets, run marathons, go on diets, dye our hair, go on diets, get contact lenses, go on diets We care. A lot.

2. Women over fifty don’t like sex

Since one of the three of us is married, this is a touchy subject. The answer is, just let a healthy, willing, attractive male show up in our vicinity and we will be ready, if not for the sexual antics of our youths, than for the joy of physical affection and occasional modified romps as befitting our aging bodies. Or, if even two out of three of those categories show up, we will be ready. Actually, “willing” might make up for any other shortfalls, depending on how long it’s been. And just think, since we can’t get pregnant, we can relax about that part of it, at least.

3. Women over fifty find menopause terrible and debilitating

YES! Menopause is TERRIBLE and DEBILITATING. It ruins our lives. It is the worst thing that has ever been invented in the history of the universe. It is worse than diet ice cream. OK, now that we have acknowledged that, can we please move on? The fact is that two of us didn’t even notice menopause, except that we could also zip right past the sanitary products shelf. So, menopause exists and we’ll have it for a while, and then we’ll get over it.

4. Women over fifty can’t keep up with the times

We three have five laptops, three smart phones, and two iPads among us. We have almost outgrown email, in favor of texting. We are Facebooking and Twittering. And let’s face it: Without us, a lot of the Help Lines would go out of business. We may have grown up in the Stone Age, but we have managed to survive into the computer age.

5. Women over fifty miss their children and only want to be with their grandchildren

We love and adore our children. We love and adore our grandchildren. That’s the only acceptable answer, isn’t it, since this will be in print? We love them the most when they don’t ask us to baby sit too much. But seriously, we can love them and still want a life. That’s the bottom line.

6. Women over fifty fear change

That’s really funny, since virtually everything about us is changing. Body parts are moving to different locations or vacating entirely. Hair is now appearing in places it never was and disappearing from places it used to be. We could go on and on. So, we say we don’t fear change. We are, and have been, the movers and shakers of our lives. Go to any art class and see who is involved in creative pursuit. Go to yoga or meditation classes to see the same. Look at the women starting new careers, or the ones running for office. Check out writing classes, art appreciation classes, cooking classes. Look at who is doing work in developing countries, starting foundations, traveling the world, raising money for causes, marching for causes. Change? Bring it on. We are well-practiced, and good at it.

7. Women over fifty are counting the days until retirement

We agree with this statement. No matter how much we love our careers, we are looking forward to having the time to travel, to explore, to start new businesses, to enroll in college, to volunteer, to write books, to inspire our daughters’ and granddaughters’ generations. We can’t wait to see what’s next. We have lived through two halves of our lives, the decades preparing us for adulthood and the decades spent as adults, building families and/or careers. We are now anxious to see what we will create in the “third half,” the decades in which our passions, our creativity, and our maturity create new possibilities for us.

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